The first signs of a village taking shape at Fernhurst come with the building of the Church dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch – a crusader’s favourite saint.
There are several houses with 14th and 15th century remnants in Fernhurst and several more that are more substantially from the 17th century, when the area started to become quite rich from the burgeoning iron industry. This wealth didn’t last forever and the industrial revolution meant that Sussex ironworks could not compete with the great factories of the north of England when they started to use coal power.
In 1749 a turnpike or toll road made Fernhurst better connected to the rest of the world and many travellers from Chichester up towards Farnham and Guildford found it easier to pass through the village.
110 years later the railway from the the small town of Haslemere on the Surrey border made Fernhurst more accessible still and this gave a great push to the size of the village which now continues to have a sizeable chunk of commuters among its population.
The great looming hillside of Blackdown sits high above the village. On a clear day you can see from Blackdown all the way across the Weald to the Devils Dyke above Brighton and even as far as Lewes in East Sussex.
The Fernhurst Society runs an oral history group to capture Fernhurst's living history and has published some transcripts of these accounts of the village's past in a book called Voices of Fernhurst.
You can also make a donation to help the church in its aim of building a new community room if you would like to.
PLACES NEAR FERNHURSTGraffham | Liphook | Lodsworth | Lurgashall | Midhurst | Northchapel | Petworth | Rake | Rogate | South Harting |
Map of the area
- South Harting
- Bognor Regis
- Burgess Hill
- East Grinstead
- Haywards Heath